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Manuals: now it’s even easier to RTFM!

We recently updated our user manuals. You may notice that they look a little different: there’s a different color scheme, the formatting is a whole lot fancier, but most importantly, there is now DARK MODE. Yes, you heard that right: you can make your manual match your module. Along with just looking really cool, there’s some cool technical stuff going on under the hood that make the new manuals much better.

The Melotus Versio manual

Lightweight and searchable 

The new manual website ( is a simple index of all our product  manuals, sorted alphabetically (you can still find individual manuals on their respective product pages, too, under the manual tab). The manuals themselves all have clickable tables of contents as well, so it’s easy to jump to whatever section you need. The new formatting also keeps all text in a format that is easy for the Robot Overlords to understand, so it’s easy to use your browser’s search function to find things, and copy text to your clipboard if you want to share a passage with a friend. All the formatting is done in markdown, so they’re easy for screen readers to decipher, too. Finally, if English isn’t your first language (or if you just feel like reading the manual in a different language for any reason), in-browser translation is far easier to use than it was with the pdf versions.

We’ve also consolidated patchbooks into their respective manuals, so you can learn about a module’s features then jump right into some fun patch ideas. Don’t know about our patchbooks? A number of our modules (like Basimilus Iteritas Alter, Desmodus Versio, and Quantus Ampla) have illustrated patch suggestions to help you get started and use your modules in new ways. It’s a great way to learn about the ins and outs of a module, or find some inspiration for an old favorite!  

Quantus Ampla patch tutorial

Read ‘em anywhere

A big part of why we did this redesign was to make it easy to reference a manual from any device. I often use my modular with my computer turned off, and when I need to check something in a manual I’ll just use a tablet or even my phone. Previously, our manuals were formatted as PDFs, which can be a bit clunky (especially on mobile devices). This was just a carryover from how we did it when we started; sometimes if something isn’t completely broken, it takes a while to get to them.


The new manuals will reformat themselves to fit perfectly on your device, and stay readable without needing to zoom in 400%. Basically, it’s magic. [I am being told it is not, in fact, magic, but the result of some clever programming. Same thing, as far as I’m concerned.]


Another big advantage of using markdown instead of PDFs is that even the longest manuals are still super lightweight: there are no big files to download, so if you happen to be somewhere with a slower connection they’ll be much faster to get to.


They even look nice when you use your browser’s print function! We don’t ship paper manuals with our products to keep costs down and avoid waste, but if you’d like to have a manual in hand these ones will look just as good on paper as they do on not-paper. 

Winterbloom? More like Wintersupercoolpeople

If, like us, you think these new manuals are super cool, and possibly slightly familiar, we have the wonderful folks at Winterbloom to thank. Winterbloom is another modular company that’s doing some truly amazing things: along with being super talented web developers, they make some great modules like the Castor and Pollux oscillator and our personal favorite, the Big Honking Button. We liked their manuals so much that we contracted them to set up the templates for us, largely based off their own amazing style guide for their manuals. Did you know that the folks behind Winterbloom do contract work? They do. All sorts of stuff at absurdly reasonable rates. Got questions? Get in touch with them.

Check out all the amazing things Winterbloom has to offer here (and see Kris and Stephen use an ensemble of Big Honking Buttons to demonstrate some traditional change-ringing patterns here). 

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